The Lakes, Lagoons and Marshes:
The lakes in Orissa can broadly be classified as natural and
artificial. They can also be classified on the basis of salt content of the
water. The most important reservoirs are at Balimela, on the river Sileru,
Rengali over the Brahmani, Mandira over the Sankh, a tributary to the Brahmani
near Rourkela and upper Indravati in the river Indravati. Among the natural ones
Chilika lake is the most famous and largest of its kind in India.
The area of lake fluctuates in different seasons. During dry
weather, it approximates to 891 Km whereas with the intensity and duration of
the annual river floods and with the ebb and flow of tides, its area extends to
1,165 Sq Km. Chilika is the one of the most important tourist spot because of
its natural beauty. It has also been declared a bird sanctuary by the government
of Orissa. A lot of birds from as far as Siberia migrate to this lake during the
winter. It is also famous for pawn and crab fishing which have a good market in foreign
countries. There is a marsh, Udyanakhanda, on the coast at Ichhapur on the
boarder of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh whose water is blackish. The Sar lake, the
Samagarapata and the Tampara are only three old lagoons initially cut-off from
the Bay of Bengal. Lake Anusha is another fresh water lake on the left bank of
Bays and Islands:
In Orissa only one Bay, Hukitola bay, off Jambu has been formed.
There are only two islands. One, off the Orissa coast and the other off the Mahanadi estuary. These are
depositional islands. They are the Shortt's Island and Wheeler Islands off Maipura
There is only one natural harbour in Orissa i.e.
Paradeep. It is
the deepest natural port in the whole of India and provides berthing
facilities to ships of more than 60,000 GRT (Gross registered tonnage).
Chandbali and Gopalpur are medium ports. Dhamra is a minor fishing port.
Middle Mountainous Country
The mountainous portions of Orissa cover about three-fourth of
entire state as per present configuration and hence determine the economic
standard of the state.
middle mountainous region is morphologically divided into the
a) The Similipal and Meghasani mountain
b) The Mankarnacha-Malayagiri and
Gandhamardar mountains of the
Baitarani and the Brahmani interfluves.
c) The watershed between the Brahmani and the Mahanadi
d) The common interfluves of the
Mahanadi, the Rushikulya and the
e) The Potangi and Chandragiri mountain ranges.
a) The Similipal and Meghasani Mountain:
The dome-shaped mountain is of volcanic origin and has an
elevation ranging from 600 meters to 1,050 meters above the sea level. It is almost
circular in extension and has got two peaks, one at Similipal and the other at
Meghasani. The radial pattern of drainage is its peculiarity.
b) The Mankarnacha-Malayagiri and Gandhanadar mountains of the
Baitarani and Brahmani interfluves:
This group of mountains with three lofty peaks extends in a
north-south direction. All these mountains are a part of Eastern Ghats whose
original trend is NE to SW. This area is a polycyclic region.
c) Watershed between Brahmani and
The evolution of these mountains is similar in character with that of the
former region. But these are more maturely dissected by continued action
of Mahanadi and the Brahmani. The trend of these mountains is NW in
northern portion, and NNW to SSE in the southern portion.
d) The Common Interfluves of the
Rushikulya and the
This water shed is deeply eroded and the height varies from 600
to 1000 meters in elevation. This interfluves stretches in the north-south
direction with several peaks rising above 1,200 meters.
e) The Potangi and Chandragiri mountain
These mountain ranges are highest in Orissa and the average
height varies form 900 to1,350 meters. The first five highest peaks in
the Eastern Ghats are encountered in these mountains. The Deomali peak is the
highest in Orrisa with an elevation of 1,672 meters and is the tallest in the
whole of the Eastern Ghats. The mountains completely separate the Nagavale and
the Sabari basins. They are highly dissected and in the valleys terrace
cultivation is practiced. The hilltops are bare of
vegetation because of shifting cultivation.